Healthy eating is especially important while working out for exercise and relaxation. When you work up an appetite, you may be tempted to reach for a quick fix, like a candy bar or a sugary soft drink. But it’s much better to plan ahead and have some nutritious snacks available that will replenish your energy instead of drain it. Here are some tasty options to pack for the gym or to have waiting at home when you get back.

Veggie Plate

Fresh, crisp veggies with a low-calorie dressing for dipping makes a terrific snack after an exercise session. Arrange your favorites on a dessert size plate, choosing from baby carrots, celery sticks, radish rosebuds, cauliflower or broccoli, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, and any other vegetables that are in season and easy to prepare. You can include a couple of low-salt, high fiber crackers and a few cheese chunks as well. Since vegetables contain a lot of water, you should feel full quickly while getting an extra serving of antioxidants.

Fruit and Yogurt Smoothies

If fruit is your favorite snack, pre-make a healthy blend of tasty fruit flavors fresh from the market. You could add berries, bananas, mangos, and orange or pineapple juice. Some people like to add a little fresh spinach, kale, or carrot puree for an extra burst of nutrients. Include a half cup or more of your favorite natural yogurt, especially the low-fat variety, and a small amount of low-fat milk if you wish. You might want to add spices like ginger or cinnamon along with a little bit of mint or chocolate, and don’t forget the peanut butter or a few grated walnuts on top. You might want to consider protein powder or whey if you like the idea of these additives. Otherwise, just throw in the blender your favorite seasonal fruit combinations.

Ready-Made Healthy Treats

Busy people sometimes prefer to buy the pre-made products that are ready for snacking when needed. There are delicious antioxidant snack bars in numerous flavors and textures to choose from. Crackers, cookies, granola snacks, and other boxed or packaged snacks offer convenience, great taste, and nutrition to save time. Pack a couple in your gym bag or keep them in the car for a handy treat when you’re on the run.

Start planning your snacks before the hunger pangs hit to keep from binging. You’ll love the in-control feeling of enjoying a special treat without ruining your diet or wasting your daily calories.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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